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4.8 out of 5 stars16
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 8 August 2009
Tony Bennett / Bill Evans remains one of the greatest albums ever released and it's a joy to see it finally getting the re-issue treatment it so richly deserves .
You also get the pairs second release (Together Again) and a full disc of alternate takes but , for me , the real stuff comes from that original classic ( Disc 1 tracks 1-9 of this release.)
What i love about it most is getting to hear Tonys voice in that stripped down , late-night setting , so rich , powerful and full of emotion. These are some of the very best tracks he's ever put out and are a joy to listen to , time and time again .
In a review of an earlier version of this album i had to confess that i knew little about his sparring partner here , Bill Evans , however this new release also comes with an absolutely perfect 18 page essay by Will Friedwald which has gone some way to addressing that situation . Very informative and helping me appreciate this sublime music even more , it was almost worth the money just for the sleevenotes and photos , i had always wanted to know more about this album , now i do ! It was especially good to read about Bills last phone call to Tony when he told him to forget all the other stuff and focus on "the truth and the beauty " , well they certainly had done that very thing 6 years earlier that's for sure.
A perfect re-issue both for newcomers and long term admirers , fresh perspective on an all time legendary album .
Great work by all concerned .
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Celebrating one of the many highs of Tony Bennett's long recording career, these wonderful tracks date from mid-Seventies sessions when he was seeking freedom from the "hit covers" mire required by his contract with Columbia Records - a situation which had latterly betrayed his desire to record worthwhile material. Whilst such independence allowed quality to prevail, commercial success proved more elusive and Bennett eventually returned to Columbia but on terms that ensured he had control over his recorded material, with an image which retained his popularity to the expanded point of appealing to respectful younger generations.

It has taken years for these tracks recorded with jazz pianist, Bill Evans, to find their rightful place with Bennett fans, jazz collectors and those who just appreciate great moments in music. Sufficed to say, this is yet another go-around for these Fantasy/Improv recordings which have been dusted off more than once in recent years via THE COMPLETE IMPROV RECORDINGS box-set (2004) with the included bonus alternate takes also added to reissues of the original albums, THE TONY BENNETT/BILL EVANS ALBUM (1975) and TOGETHER AGAIN (1976). Enjoy WHO CAN I RETURN TO, MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY, MAYBE SEPTEMBER and YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING, plus the Evans solo THE BAD AND BEAUTIFUL and then hear the immaculate alternative takes for that extra appreciation of two great talents at work. Stunning simplicity aligned with great artistry.
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on 28 October 2009
Piano and jazz singing formula at it's best. When the two albums, packed together in this CD, were recorded, in the middle of the 70's, Tony Bennet and Bill Evans had already reached the peak of their capacities, and joining efforts to do this was a surprise. Mainly because of the huge gap between the worlds in wich each one was living: Bennet, a self-confident star of the mainstream, a singer representing the joys of widspread recognition; Evans, a shy and half-reclusive man, with a high level of intelectualization in everything he had done. But, as in most of the great forms of art, in which walls are meant to be broken, this works. They have established a new standard in piano and jazz singing joined together, as I've said. It doesn't get better than this.
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on 11 October 2009
This record set, from the mid-'70's, brings together two of the very best exponents of modern-jazz "easy-listening" ever recorded. An extraordinary combination of singing and playing very much more like two instrumental soloists than a singer with piano accompaniment. And we are treated to a splendid selection of tunes, each given an interpretation that is original, tasteful and exhibits impeccable musicianship and musicality. A rare treat - not to be missed. If you like quality singing and the very best of piano jazz this is for you.
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on 3 December 2009
I used to own the LP recording of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans and it was wonderful to have it. Imagine my suprise when I found there was a lot more on two CD's. As you can see I purchased two copies, one for a lady friend of mine who actually saw Bill Evans in New York, this lady (no names) had a leading part in the film "A passage to India" we are both overjoyed to own this wonderful recording, and for those who want quality this is an absolute must.
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on 31 December 2014
This is a really great double album by, in my opinion, two of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. Tony Bennett has a unique purity of tone who is without fail pitch-perfect. His treatment of this wonderful collection of standards shows off his superb phrasing and extensive range, and he never fails to bring both admiration and joy in equal measure to this listener.

Bill Evans is a true master of his instrument and his understated playing always allows Tony centre stage, except when taking a solo, when his command of jazz piano comes through with inventive and sometimes humerous improvisations.

All in all this album is both simple and compact in sound, but also a beautifully balanced and fully satisfying whole. A masterpiece!
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on 26 June 2014
I think this is one of the best albums for any Tony Bennett fan. Not only does the track listing include many of his best recordings but the arrangements are superb.
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on 8 September 2009
For Tony Bennett fans this album is a must. His partnership with Bill Evans is exquisite. Evans contribution is not that of a mere accompanist but an equal partner. His solo contributions are beautiful and Tony Bennett is at his best.
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on 28 September 2009
Absolutely perfect. Tony Bennett singing in a very high emotional way, playing his extraordinary instrument, his voice, with the art of Bill Evans. Don't loose this master piece of art.
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on 28 March 2015
An inspired pairing. One of the best. Bennett'e voice is loud, free and unrestrained - and yet delicate. Total control of his material and sits so snugly inside each of his songs. Bill Evans - 'Masterclass' - not simply along for the ride - not just backing musician. He's subtle when required in support of Bennett, but when let loose in between he's strong, forceful and dynamic. An absolutr JOY!
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